We wanted to share our project with you, not only to keep you updated and informed on our life, but also to welcome ideas from our community and share as we plan this next big (tiny) step in our adventure
Want to see mountains move? I encourage you to find and support a Crisis Center in your community. Volunteer, donate, bake them cookies, offer your services to those in desperate need.
Over the top prayers answered, perfect timing, and blessings upon blessings.
I cannot force others to feel as strongly as I do, I cannot change their opinions, I cannot make them care. That won’t stop me from loving, supporting, and being conscious about what comes into my house.
Take out the special cloth, run them under cold water, and gently wipe away the smudges. Help me see clearly again and really appreciate the view.
I can still feel the wind racing through my hair, pushing my tears backwards in streams that lead almost to my ears. My little paint horse, Lakota and I would be loping for long portions of time along the trails as I poured out my pain and fears to him, attempting to let them sail away in the wind behind us. Those morning trail rides, just him and I, were precious moments of peace at a time in my life when I desperately needed it. Heavenly moments of healing from my horse. Moments that impacted greatly where and who I am today.
When I first learned that my sister had been diagnosed with an eating disorder, my fears of being overlooked became intensified. I actually think that I convinced myself that I was overlooked, and therefore acted like it. Which very likely led me to my own struggle with eating disorders.
Looking back on my growing up years (I'm probably still in those...), there's a lot of instances in which I felt that way. I now believe that it was a lie being fed to me by the devil himself, and because of believing that lie I acted accordingly. As a work-at-home-mom, I still struggle with feeling overlooked. When you spend the majority of your time with a tiny human that can't communicate clearly, and have days where you really don't even have the time to see anyone else, the enemy sees an opportunity and boy does he take it! And I have to wonder, how many others (not just moms or women!) are being fed the lie too? That they are overlooked, unimportant, and not worth the time of anyone of else. That they have to take care of themselves, or be the savior of themselves. How's that going?
Unfortunately, it seems that for some of us, we find ourselves in situations where for some reason or another, we feel overlooked. And it hurts. We have siblings that are younger than us and that need basic needs met. We have parents who are consumed with addiction and aggression. We have friends whose life crisis are more urgent than our own. We have co-workers who just seem to have a more "stand out" personality than we do. Or we simply live in a culture where acknowledging the people around us is more and more rare (uh, I think ALL of us can relate to that one).
My horse reminded me of something very important: no matter how overlooked I felt, I wasn't. He saw me. He listened to me. And he never turned away from me even though I was struggling. Just a couple weeks ago, I saw that very same horse, who I sold to a family friend a couple years back. He still saw me, knew me, and seemed to desire my company.
You know who else sees me, listens to me, and doesn't turn away? God. By him I am never overlooked. He saw me before the start of time, and he sees me far into my future. And the same is true for you! He sacrificed his very own son, so that you and I would have the opportunity and hope that death doesn't have to be our end. That doesn't sound like overlooked to me.
While nothing replaces the fact that we are SEEN, LOVED, and CARED FOR by the Almighty God, sometimes we need a little reminder. My horses served that reminder to me as a young girl, and my friends and family often do now. So here's a question for you: what or who do you have in your life reminding you that you're not overlooked? I can guarantee there's an answer, but if not, please connect with us! You are not overlooked by us here at Wild Wild Beauty!
I have another question too. This one is also a little challenging. I know it is for me....Who are you overlooking?
Your family or friends? We all get busy and forget to look at the people around us, or connect with the people we claim to care about. Take some time to catch up with friends, to ask they're doing, and to simply look at them.
Are you overlooking God? It's all too easy to do, especially with the devil is distracting us with lies. Don't overlook him. Listen to his truth, give him your time, and I guarantee you'll feel far less overlooked then before. You'll also replace those nasty lies with His healing and hope-filled truth!
"Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God so that at the proper time he may exalt you, casting all your anxieties on him, because HE CARES FOR YOU. Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same kinds of suffering are being experience by your brotherhood throughout the world. And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you. To him be the dominion forever and ever. Amen." 2 Peter 5:6-11 ESV.
While most people have skeletons in their closet, I have a monster in mine that likes to come out every now and then to see what fun he can have with me that day.
Sometimes I get a little too introspective. I start overthinking things and investigating the reasons behind the things that I do, and the way that I organize my life ... But remember, only sometimes...
One of my more recent musings has lingered around the fact (yes, it's a fact) that I am actually kind of... um, needy. I need my husband to help me with the child and the dog when he comes home from work (because I've usually been pushed to the brink of my sanity at that point). I need to have time to workout (preferably uninterrupted...ha!) so that I can start my day feeling productive and healthy. I need a house that doesn't make me want to scream and break things because I can't seem to keep everything in it's proper place (yes, I have issues).
Anyway, a couple of weeks ago I was going about my morning routine: fixed breakfast for me, the hubby, and Miss Olivia, started some laundry, and completed my morning workout. Nothing was out of the ordinary that morning, but sure enough, I had a strange sensation come over me (okay, in retrospect I completely realize that I was actually PMS-ing...sorry for the information, but there it is!)
Almost as soon as I turned off the television following my workout, I found myself angry and dissatisfied. I looked around my house and just couldn't shake the feeling that it didn't feel like home; that somehow, despite my efforts, I hadn't managed to hit the nail on the head in regard to organizing elements so that it felt warm and inviting, while still meeting the needs of my family's lifestyle (we're in and out and all about). That screaming and breaking things feeling was looming over my head...and then my husband got called away on an ambulance call. Needless to say, I was a tad frustrated (I would've recommended that Olivia run for the hills, but that would mean no adult supervision, and that's just irresponsible).
Rather than go ahead and let my anger get the best of me, I did what any "sensible" mother would do and re-channeled my energy into completely rearranging the front of the house by myself. I moved the couch, the recliner, set up the coffee table, relocated the turtle's tank, moved the dresser the turtle used to sit on, oh, and proceeded to throw away as many things as I could. It was nothing short of cathartic!
And bless my husband! When he got home, he opened the door, stopped for a minute, and then, instead of balking at my obvious insanity, jumped in to help me reorganize the kitchen.
Was the whole thing absolutely crazy? Yes. But over the past few years as a mother and wife, I've learned so much about the way that a home is one tool through which we nurture certain values in our families. The way we organize our house and the way we uphold certain rules, including those revolving around the proper place of things, helps us to create an environment in which our loved ones develop their sense of belonging. And that sense of belonging extends to us mamas as well! This most recent re-organization process absolutely helped me to better understand, as an adult, and especially as a mother, just what it was that I needed from my house in order to make it feel more like a home.
1. I need an element of design. I hated walking into my house and feeling like nothing matched, nothing grabbed my attention, nothing look thoughtfully laid out. So, I created a space in the living room, that does just that for me. This new space, combining the turtle's old dresser and thoughtfully laid out wall art, catches my eye and lifts my spirits when I see it!
2. I need an intimate sitting space. I hated that our furniture was just pushed up to the wall and didn't make for a very cozy conversation area. To remedy that, I moved the couch and recliner to a corner of our living room, and arranged them around my grandma's old coffee table. Suddenly, I had a space that I could really see myself relaxing in (my husband would probably laugh at that) or reading to Olivia in. It is the perfect spot to enjoy my morning cup of coffee while taking in those early morning rays!
3. I need "adult" spaces. It's probably sacrilege to say this as a parent, but I've found it really important to have spaces in my hone where children things are not. Having Olivia's toys in every single space of our house left me feeling a bit dislodged. I realized that as an adult, I need to have places that still somewhat feel like they're "mine". So, I designated her room as the toy zone, moving most of her toys back in there, including her kitchen set, so that the front room could at least begin the day feeling clean and somewhat "adult-like". That doesn't mean she can't play with her toys out there, it just means that at the end of the day those toys need to go back to her room so that we can start the day fresh when we wake up the next morning! Which, I also feel is probably a pretty solid parenting move anyway...baby steps.
Although it took a lot of effort, and on the outside looking in, perhaps it was a touch overkill, I can't tell you how happy I am when I walk out in the morning to a space that fits the personality and values of my family, and that both makes me feel at home and a little whimsical (insert Buddha smile).
Needy isn't always a bad thing, especially when it inspires you to productive and positive action (instead of screaming at your kids and your spouse...don't do that). It's okay to ask what it is you need out of different areas of your life, and take steps to start getting those needs met. And it's super awesome to have a loving and supportive husband to help you with all of that!
Everyone deserves to feel at home. At home with their house and at home with themselves. Actually, we need it.
It's not that I don't try. It's that I'm not Hercules. Not yet anyways. I can't do what comes naturally to others. It's not easy for me. It's not even easy for me to think about.
Oh the incredible joy I felt in the first moment that Isaac, our maybe three month old baby boy at the time, was able to interact with our energetic and keen dog, Misty. I remember laying on the bed between them, laughing with Isaac as Misty kissed my face and then his, resulting in the most precious baby giggles. You know, the kind that turn the manliest of men into mush.
I remember getting up, and watching them continue to play, thinking that this was the perfect picture of family. Until seconds later when Isaac grabbed her unexpectedly and she yipped and nipped at his face. Leaving a mark, for the love of God! Immediately, in true new mother fashion, I began to question whether or not this relationship between our two young ones would ever work?!
Isaac got coddled and fussed over, and Misty got vehemently yelled at. No longer the perfect picture of family…
However, their story didn’t end there (although, my mama bear instincts were seriously considering removing the dog from the equation. Because if it comes to choosing between my baby’s safety and the dog, well, the baby always wins). They’ve both come a long ways since then, in many ways. The day that Isaac could throw her tennis ball for her was likely Misty’s BEST DAY EVER. Because she LOVES (or lives) to fetch her tennis ball. Always has and always will. Anyone who will throw the ball for her is her best friend. Which means 1) she’s gained and lost a lot of best friends, because a person can only throw the ball for so long before being DONE. And 2) Isaac is currently her best of best friends, because he’s always willing and wanting to throw her ball for her…Or more so, AT her.
Remember when I said they’ve come a long ways? Now nearing a year and half, Isaac especially has grown in the way of his physical abilities, and in his proclivity for hitting things—namely Misty. Probably because unlike the rest of us, she can’t talk. So she can’t tell him not to hit her. And Misty has come a long ways in the realm of patience toward him, no longer nipping at him when he does something that bothers her. Bless her soul, because that happens a lot.
While there’s many moments of Isaac chasing Misty, with her bone in his hand, held in a club-like manner and ready to use as such, there’s also MANY moments of the two of them giggling and snuggling together in her dog bed, like best friends at a sleep over. Many moments of kisses and licks exchanged. Many moments of Isaac caringly sharing his food with her, or Misty uncomplainingly sharing her food with him (both are much to my dismay). What can I say? They care for each other.
That’s the nature of their relationship. Unabashed care. Actually there’s definitely some bashing from Isaac and his wooden toy hammer…But you get the picture!
Regardless of the violence (for lack of a better word, there’s a lot that I learn from these crazy two and their crazy interactions. Lessons (I accidentally first typed lesions, which I think is rather coincidental…) that I can’t wait to share with you!
But for now, stay tuned and send up some prayers for me, as I chase these two around the house and keep them from hurting themselves or each other. And for Misty, as she continues to endure the wrath of Isaac.
Gosh, she really loves the tennis ball and his food…
Yes, my hair is purple. Yes, it's rather vibrant. Yes, it's even brighter in natural light. And yes, it probably glows under a black light...though I have sadly not been able to absolutely confirm that last one.
When I agreed to dye my hair the extravagant color purple with my friend, two things were happening: 1) I had already consumed enough wine to lower my inhibitions toward the idea considerably, and 2) we agreed on a very mild, pastel/grayish purple that was really mellow.
After 2+ hours in the hair salon a couple of Tuesdays ago, what we walked out with was anything but mellow. I remember the first words that I could think of to describe the color was "electric". And although I personally really liked it, I'd be lying if I said I didn't instantly regret not telling anyone other than my husband, sister, and the friend who went with me, because looking at the color I realized it was going to be a lot for anyone to take in...
A few days after making the transition to purple hair, I was reading an article that was basically "things you should know before dying your hair a vibrant color" and the author suggested that for first-timers, it might be worth only dying a portion of your hair, like peek-a-boo strips to make sure you like the color before fully committing. I had to laugh at myself, because I guess I missed that memo :p
Now, you should know that about 70% of people's comments make me never want to have "normal" hair again, while the other 30% make me want to crawl into a hole and hide from the world forever...mostly because I am an introvert who doesn't particularly like being the center of attention (that's an understatement actually), and I definitely don't like to be the recipient of even mild disapproval. If there were one thing I could change about myself, it would be that...but somehow, I still get that little twinge of self-doubt when someone doesn't outright approve of my decisions. Lame, I know.
If you asked me what are my top two values, I'd answer with no hesitation: honesty and positivity. Honesty - because I spent too much time lying to people earlier in my life and I never want to do that again. It broke my relationships and leveled my self-worth to the ground. Positivity - not in the let's-be-perky-cheery-all-the-time-way, but more in the sense that there are a lot of things that happen in life that aren't worth the effort of letting impact me negatively. I'd rather pick my battles very carefully than let negativity seep in.
And as strange as it is, my purple hair has me dwelling on these things a little more. Because honestly, I'm a little worried that for some, it will reduce their opinion of me. But the positivity in me also tells me that I don't need to worry about the opinion of others. Those aren't the opinions that I need to give weight to.
After Carlee and I finished the process of dying our hair, I told her, more or less, that the only thing to do now was to rock it with confidence! And that's what I am going to do! (I've already had quite a lot of fun dressing it up, trying out different makeup styles, and pairing it with a variety of colorful clothes :p) Because my honest and positive self wouldn't have it any other way!
And that wraps up some strange pre-Thanksgiving musings for you :p
I look up and there’s a sort of magical sheen in the air. Maybe it’s the sun through the trees, accentuated by wind-blown dust. Maybe it’s the tears welling my eyes. Whatever the source, it’s filled with awe and wonder. With hope, anticipation, and JOY.
As that crown is placed upon my head, by two people I cherish more than words can say, I don’t feel the heaviness of it. Rather, I feel a weight being lifted. The breaking chisel through a wall far too long erected, rescuing and releasing radiant beams of FREEDOM.
The past six months have been that for me, I think—a gradual freeing from a lot of hard things (depression, self-doubt, embarrassment, and insecurity to name a few). And perhaps it’s been even longer than that. As a teenager, I remember friends and family trying desperately to speak truth into me, to free me from all those confining lies.
“Heather, you are going to do something GREAT one day.”
“You’ll never be good enough.”
“Heather, you don’t need to worry about what you look like.”
“Don’t embarrass yourself, please.”
“Heather, you mean so much to me.”
“You’re not REALLY important to anyone.”
Despite my inability to believe their truths, they kept speaking them. Repeatedly kept resting them on my head. Faithfully. Waiting for me to let those truths sit a little longer, and a little longer still. Their hope was mine, when I had none…until their hope became mine.
These two women, placing this crown on my head have been with me the longest, at least as far as friends go. One, because we shared a womb together. And the other because we were simply destined to be sisters, even if not by blood. They’ve stood by and poured freedom over my head more times than I can count. They’ve beared my ugliness and my beauty, all with a steadfast, immovable LOVE.
And it is primarily to them, through their openness to the Lord, through the way they live their lives and love me, that I get to experience this season of FREEDOM. That I get to enjoy acceptance and love for myself in ways that I never have before. That I can come upon those tough moments in the day and know that there is hope and meaning in it, and hope and meaning in me. That I can walk through one of the most crowded places this time of year, wearing a gunne sax dress (trust me, you stand out) and seashell crown, without a single care of what anyone thinks of me.
These two beautiful women, and many others (you know who you are) have crowned me with freedom. With wild, wild, beautiful freedom.
It’s magical. It’s awe-filled. And it is wonderful.
Last week, my sisters and I did something a little out of the ordinary...
We walked around the magical Apple Hill in Gunne Sax dresses and handmade seashell crowns...
The goal is, that by the end of the day, you not only feel relaxed, but also refreshed and ready to conquer another week of social interaction and uncomfortable situations.
Baked goods are joy in physical form. Have you ever been sad whilst eating a cinnamon roll? Didn’t think so.
Whether you are the CEO of a major company, or washing dishes at a local restaurant, striving to remain professional has always been a respected practice and will get you far in life.
Before Adam left on deployment, I had about 70 things written down that I wanted to accomplish during our year apart. Here's a recap on what I accomplished, how I grew, and how this list kept me sane.
Recently, after finding out I weighed 145 pounds, I had a little sit down with myself to get my mind back to where it needed to be, this is the conversation that followed...
I wasn’t in any sports growing up but I knew I loved hiking, driving back roads, swimming in cliff lakes, and star gazing from the hood of my car. I loved nature.
Normalcy is something you have to consciously work for. Wake up each morning giving ALL of your effort to create an environment you can thrive in.. no matter where you are.